Over the past decade, Grace Community Church doubled, tripled, quadrupled in size—and kept multiplying exponentially. Thousands of people found Jesus; thousands were baptized. Campuses were established all over Orange County. In 2018, Grace Community began asking God, “What’s next? What would You have us do?”
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Impact Report 2020

A Look at the Past Two Years

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introduction
Over the past decade, Grace Community Church doubled, tripled, quadrupled in size—and kept multiplying exponentially. Thousands of people found Jesus; thousands were baptized. Campuses were established all over Orange County. In 2018, Grace Community began asking God, “What’s next? What would You have us do?”

God led us to the Gospel of Mark 1:38—“Jesus said to them, ‘Let’s go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also.’” Out of that prayer and that Scripture, the “LET’S GO” vision was born.

In 2018, the Grace Community family took a leap of faith. We launched into a two-year generosity initiative, with our gaze set on the cities and towns beyond us. The questions we sought to answer: How can we go deeper with our people at our Orange County campuses? How can we go wider to reach those who don’t know Christ? How can we go wider to impact the vulnerable in our communities?

Let’s take a look back at what God has done in these two years of “LET’S GO”!

Goal Updates

*Giving numbers were impacted by COVID and physical locations being closed.

Goal 1: 100% Participation

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Families committed to LET'S GO
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First-time givers over the last two years
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New recurring (scheduled) givers
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Total regular active givers

Goal 2: $20 Million in Giving

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Total Given to Date
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One Year Annual Increase
Adult Discipleship

Our desire is that at Grace, everyone knows what their next step is for Discipleship. That can be basic courses such as Gospel Groundwork, or more advanced training such as Leadership Pathway. After someone first trusts Jesus as their savior, we want to get them off and running.

We created the Gospel Groundwork course for this purpose. It runs five weeks and combines interactive learning with personal mentoring from a trained “coach,” who knows the course and has more experience in their relationship with Christ. The lessons walk through foundational truths of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Each week, people are invited to reflect on their lives and take steps to draw closer to Jesus in practical and powerful ways.

For those further along in their walk with Jesus, our Leadership Pathway course creates an environment where potential leaders gather for relationship-building and equipping to prepare them for ministry leadership. With training on everything from spiritual leadership to practical guidance on casting vision and handling challenges and setbacks, these leaders go on to lead ministries at Grace.

As people progress and go more in-depth with Christ, there are often more profound challenges revealed; the only way forward is thorough, careful, intentional guidance and healing. Whether it be a spiritual, relational, or financial challenge, or grief and loss struggle, our Spiritual Care ministry walks with and cares for individuals as they navigate these difficulties.

By the Numbers:

Gospel Groundwork:

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Coaches Trained
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people enrolled in the course
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sessions completed all in the last 18 months

important milestones:

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Baptisms
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Salvations
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people went through the Leadership Pathway in the past 24 months

Michelle Munoz

Michelle Munoz was a coach for a small group of people who went through the Gospel Groundwork course, answering questions and helping them in their journey. We asked her to share her thoughts on the program.

What was it like being a coach for Gospel Groundwork?

It really has been a priceless blessing. I have been able to watch so many being transformed by the truth. I now have a starting point to lead them on their walk. I’ve seen all of this bring them hope.

What are some of the key things you’ve learned during this process?

In an overly complicated world full of religion, rules, and misconceptions of what it means to be a Christian our faith is beautifully simple. Gospel Groundwork explains our faith in such a way that the new believer can grasp the fundamentals and basic disciplines, while the seasoned believer is reminded how important it is to return to those same fundamentals.


"In an overly complicated world full of religion, rules, and misconceptions of what it means to be a Christian, our faith is beautifully simple."

How have you seen lives changed during your time as a coach?

I have seen individuals who begin the course who are downcast, heavy, unsure of themselves with misconceptions about their faith. By lesson five, they would walk into the group smiling, almost glowing; finally feeling their identity, purpose, and direction. Very new believers look and feel truly born again. Seasoned believers look like a weight has been lifted. Many of them find a deeper love for Jesus. One woman said I helped her get her Father back and become closer to Him. That wasn’t my doing, but now she feels reunited with the Father!


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4 Hudson Valley locations
One part of the “LET’S GO” initiative was to work toward launching 10 locations, including an online presence and four locations in the Hudson Valley.

Fishkill

Only a few months into “LET’S GO,” the Grace Community Fishkill campus was born. This location was a special milestone for the Grace vision, because after 10 years of dreaming to reach people in “Orange County and beyond,” the Fishkill campus was the first place of worship in the “beyond”! In 2019 and 2020, hundreds of people in Dutchess County have encountered Jesus, many for the very first time. Dozens have been baptized in water, and families have been forever changed.

monroe

On Easter Sunday in 2019, the Grace Community Monroe campus opened its doors. God gave us a strategic location, our very first movie theater worship center, in the heart of downtown Monroe! Impacting this area was the realization of a long-standing dream at Grace to reach more deeply into southern Orange County. In addition to the salvations, baptisms, and stories of transformation through this campus, another hallmark of Grace Monroe has been the astounding number of people serving in ministry for the very first time.

highland falls

After many years of hoping and praying to open a campus at West Point, the door opened to establish Grace Highland Falls! The Highlands and West Point communities surged together to create the volunteer and leadership force, the people of Grace gave lavishly, and Palm Sunday 2020 was set for our launch date. Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic, the opening date was greatly delayed, but we will soon hear the amazing stories coming out of this unique location.

adirondack

When “LET’S GO” was planned, we envisioned campuses in the Hudson Valley as well as a first New England location. We didn’t know God would present us with an opportunity for a campus bridging both regions. During these two years, much groundwork has been laid for what will become Grace Adirondack—not only a Grace Community outpost to reach the near-70,000 people within driving distance; but also a ministry training center for future planters and leaders called to kick the darkness in the Northeast!

Church Online Numbers:

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unique devices connected since 03/2020
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unique devices connected since 03/2020
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church online prayer sessions
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church online prayer sessions

Pastor Scott Cheney

We took some time to sit down with Pastor Scott from the
Fishkill campus to hear how things are going there as a
new campus launched in 2019.


How have you seen the people at Fishkill grow and change throughout the year?

The core group in Fishkill is hungry. I have a virtual group of 18 that meets on Monday nights. From this group we have witnessed leaders rise and the future of Fishkill blossom.

Recently you were forced to move because of the closing of the Ramada Inn. Can you talk about how God has worked through your campus having to move so suddenly?

To be perfectly honest, the month of September was very challenging for Fishkill. We built momentum and pumped huge effort into House Church. Then, we pivoted and opened the campus up in less than two weeks. Then we closed without knowing when or if we would be able to reopen.

All of this was very hard on the team. Yet, they have persevered. There is an overwhelming, yet unspoken trust in God that a permanent home is somewhere in the future. The volunteer base in place now will continue to grow in strength.

"There is an overwhelming, yet unspoken trust in God that a permanent home is somewhere in the future."


Can you share any special stories from the Fishkill campus that God has used to encourage you?

We heard about a woman who had previously attended the Newburgh Campus. She had a history of brokenness and negativity. In March I heard that she had cancer, was very ill, couldn’t get groceries, and was terrified of dying alone.

Members of Team Fishkill procured a shopping list, went to Shoprite, and delivered groceries to the woman in Cold Spring. People continued to reach out, to pray, and be a light to this woman. One week ago, she walked through the doors of our new location looking healthier than I have seen in years. She asked who needed help now and that she was ready. I wanted to cry. She is a life transformed by the Gospel in action.

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Pastor korey deck

Pastor Korey serves as our Church Online Pastor and helped launch Church Online in March 2020. It was awesome to hear about the launch and how God has used Church Online to influence people for Jesus.

What was it like having to launch Church Online in such a short time period because of the pandemic?

In the beginning, it was a little chaotic because we just didn’t know what would happen with the virus, the potential shutdowns, and what would be safe. We were planning for extra cleaning for the buildings but at that point, we still planned on services as normal. I think it was Thursday we got word we were shutting down.

So in 24 hours we planned, filmed, and produced an entire service, which is relatively unheard of for a church production staff. Fortunately for us, at the beginning of the LET’S GO initiative, we had done all of the initial work on building out a platform. If Covid had not hit, we had been planning towards launching for the summer of 2020. So with an immense amount of hard work from our small team, combined with the groundwork that had been laid because of the vision of LET’S GO, we were able to have church altogether that weekend!

"So in 24 hours we planned, filmed, and produced an entire service, which is relatively unheard of for a church production staff."


What did it take to get Church Online off the ground that first weekend? Were you worried it wouldn’t happen?

Once we knew that we were shutting down, getting everyone into motion was actually really fun! It isn’t often all of us from the different campuses get to create a church service together. Designing, recording, and producing the online church service was an exciting thing as we saw how “One Church, Many Locations” could be on mission together. All of us had to be flexible and really open-handed with our preferences and get really clear and united around the mission.

What makes church online its own special ministry? Maybe even in ways that are different from the other physical locations?

Church Online is so unique because it’s a brand new group of people and at the same time it’s the same people. If you know the parable of the lost sheep where Jesus unpacks the “99 for 1” principle, it’s a lot like that. Many of the Grace community “99” are online and it’s a beautiful thing because if you look in the chats you’ll see so many of our people talking to and loving one another in a rich and genuine way. Everyone interacting and chatting with each other online truly being the Church is an exciting thing to see!

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Vulnerable communities
One of the primary reasons Grace Community opens new locations is to serve new people groups, especially the vulnerable in our communities.
As we launched “LET’S GO,” we sensed God calling us into a deeper commitment to families with special needs, adoption and foster care ministry, vulnerable communities such as migrant and inner-city, those suffering from addiction and mental illness, and prison ministry.

Over these past two years, Grace has intensified our special needs ministry, continuing the vision flowing from milestones such as “Night to Shine,” all the way to adding Grace Buddies, a staff dedicated to serving families with special needs. Our ministry to the migrant community has expanded, touching lives with necessary food and outreach, sharing the Gospel, and the love of Jesus. During “LET’S GO,” we have also seen growing transparency and focused ministry to love people suffering from mental illness and addiction.

by the Numbers:

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Night to Shine

Over the past two years, Grace hosted “Night to Shine,” a one night prom celebration led by the Tim Tebow Organization. In February of 2020, we were able to double the attendance opportunity by holding the event at Anthony’s Pier 9. More than 300 individuals and caregivers were able enjoy this wonderful event.
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Christmas Gifts to community families
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Thanksgiving Baskets donated
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coats and winter clothing items given
$0
donated to the benevolence fund

Becky Gallaher

Becky has worked at both the Newburgh campus as well as the Fishkill campus leading volunteer teams in both locations. During COVID she organized volunteers, food, and deliveries to those in need across Orange County.

Before COVID How did you get involved with volunteer leadership at Grace?

I served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Newburgh Campus for approximately 4 years. l loved serving as the Volunteer Coordinator and then as an employee as Operations Coordinator. Both afforded me the opportunity to work and serve with volunteers. I’ve grown more in the last few years in my walk with the Lord at Grace than all my previous years as a Christian.

How did you get involved with helping the county with food distribution during the covid pandemic?

At the start of COVID Grace created a special Facebook group for community needs. I was able to get in touch with a community director there and sensed she was overwhelmed. She was receiving phone calls and texts from people needing help and from those wanting to volunteer.

I told her I had some experience working with volunteers. I offered to help with the volunteers and she was more than happy to have me take the lead. I’m sure she didn’t really know me, but for some reason, she trusted that I could help. As she saw that I could handle the volunteers she then handed off the daily meal lists to me to update and send out each day. With the help of others from Grace, we were able to get others to sign up and volunteer. Once volunteers were in place we created a weekly schedule to 18 different cities around Orange County. We began with 42 hot meal deliveries a day. By the time we were done in June, we were delivering upwards of 190 hot meals a day. That doesn’t include the over 500 food boxes we regularly helped sort, pack, and deliver around the Newburgh area.

"Working with this community program broadened my desire to reach more and more people with the love of Jesus."


Can you share some special stories that came out of your time leading volunteers?

One volunteer named Melissa Wood had moved out of state. But after losing her job during COVID she came back to New York. She emailed me one night:

Thank you Becky for allowing me to be a part of this. After losing my job (helping people) and coming back here unexpectedly, I was really feeling down. This outreach is giving me more than something to occupy my time. It’s giving me purpose during a time where people are in need. So thank you. I really do appreciate it. Thanking God for your heart of service.


What specific highlights can you share from the collaborative efforts of Grace and the Office for the Aging?

The Orange County Office for the Aging and RECAP know that Grace makes a difference. I honestly believe if we were to offer to help again in the future, they’d jump at the chance to have us come alongside them. Because of the relationship we’ve developed with the Office for the Aging and RECAP, I believe we will continue to make a difference in lives. Not only those they serve, but even the employees working for those programs as well.

What impact did this ministry have on your own spiritual life?

Working with this community program broadened my desire to reach more and more people with the love of Jesus. We didn’t have to say a word to everyone we came in contact with. They knew. They just somehow knew they were being loved. It was on a much deeper level than someone just giving them a meal. The volunteers reached out with a meal, but they also reached out with love and compassion.

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online impact


Grace’s main website is our “front door” and each year more and more people are checking us out online. Others are listening to and watching digital teaching growing our weekly impact through content and digital outreach.


Video Streams
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Audio Streams
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Website Visits
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Web Visitors
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in Summary
When “LET’S GO” began in late 2018, the primary goal was 100% participation and the secondary goal was $20 million in generous giving. We believed that with a generous culture change across our church, the financial need would take care of itself.
While Grace Community did not fully reach these goals, a great deal of stewardship impact did take place. We saw participation far greater than any generosity initiative in Grace’s history, with nearly 600 households making written commitments, and many more stepping up in their giving. In one year, we saw an annual giving increase by more than 17 percent. In two years, 376 people started giving for the very first time. As we entered the year 2020, our church was more financially poised for impact than ever before.

Even with limited participation and with the massive disruption of the global economy in 2020, God has enabled Grace to propel forward many elements of the “LET’S GO” vision. In 2018, we had an established ministry presence in five locations; today we are on the cusp of worshiping across 10 locations! In 2019, our staff and leadership were arranged to support ministry across Orange County communities only; today we are aligned to impact people in locations “beyond”—through family ministry, transformational adult discipleship, and powerful weekend Gospel encounters.
Although COVID has cast uncertainty over every organization, Jesus Christ has declared that He will build His church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). While we may not know the details of dates, tactics, and outcomes, we do know what matters most: God has raised up Grace Community for such a time as this. God has commissioned us to reach Orange County and beyond. God has called us to kick the darkness in the Northeast. God has summoned us, “Let’s Go!” to the next towns to proclaim His Truth.

"God has commissioned us to reach Orange County and beyond. God has called us to kick the darkness in the Northeast."



"We are part of a revival movement."


And we know this: We are part of a revival movement, where… Jesus Christ is adored, the Spirit of God frees, lost from God are found, faith and repentance flow, praise and prayer erupt, lives and communities are transformed, love and joy fill hearts, freedom overwhelms, believers are empowered, barriers are broken down, the hungry are fed, needs are met, marriages are restored, families are reunited, sick minds and bodies are healed, and prodigals come home!